Intravenous literature : Kujur, R., Rao, M.S., Mrinal, M. (2009) How correct is the correct length for central venous catheter insertion. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine. 13(3), p.159-62.
Background and Aim: Central venous catheters (CVC) are important in the management of critically ill patients. Incorrect positioning may lead to many serious complications. Chest radiograph is a convenient means of determining the correct position of the catheter tip. The present study was designed to evaluate the depth of CVC placed through the right and left internal jugular vein (IJV) in order to achieve optimum placement of the catheter tip. Materials and Methods: A total of 107 patients in whom CVCs were put through either the right or left IJV through a central approach were included in this prospective study. Catheter tip position was observed in the post procedure chest radiograph. It was considered correct if the tip was just below the carina in the left-sided catheters and just above carina in the right-sided catheters. The catheters were repositioned based on the chest radiographs. The catheter depth leading to optimum tip placement was noted. Results: In males, catheter repositioning was required in 13 of 58 patients (22.41%) in the right IJV catheters, whereas in 2 of 13 patients (15.38%) in the left IJV catheters. In females, repositioning was required in 12 of 25 patients (48%) in the right IJV catheters and 2 of 11 patients (18.18%) in the left IJV catheters. Repositioning rate was higher in females (14/36) compared with males (15/71), which was statistically significant ( P = 0.05, 95% CI). Repositioning rates were significantly higher in females (12/25) as compared with males (13/58) in the right IJV catheters ( P = 0.019, 95% CI). Conclusion: By cannulating the IJV through a central approach, the catheters can be fixed at a length of 12-13 cm in males and 11-12 cm in females in the right IJV and at a length of 13-14 cm in males and 12-13 cm in females in the left IJV in order to achieve correct positioning.